Buyer personas can redefine your content marketing strategy
You’ve probably noticed your B2B marketing strategy has gotten more complex over the years. Some forms of advertising have lost effectiveness over time. Buyers have greater access to information than ever before, and this has caused them to be less trusting of self-promotional brand content. This makes it more difficult for your sales employees to reach prospects with the right message at the appropriate time. Relevancy is a major driver for sales conversions.
This is where the need for buyer personas comes into play. You can’t try to send each lead the same message and expect it to drive results. Sales communications and pitches need to be tailored to individuals. Some B2B firms may be catering to a few different target audiences and they need to create and maintain different content for each group. You can see better results from your marketing and sales efforts if you develop buyer personas and target your messages more effectively.
Why your organization needs buyer personas
In the past few years, customers have been more empowered with information than ever before. Any marketing efforts that aren’t targeted and personalized will fall flat, and you’ll fail to capture a high return on investment. Because of this access to information, buyers have a great deal more control over the sales cycle, according to an article for MediaPost written by John Miller. They will not purchase from vendors that do not cater to their preferences. In fact, Internet lead generation has become more complicated because when many buyers first make contact with a sales representative, they may be more than halfway finished with the process of making a decision. This makes it even more difficult to connect with prospects because they will already have a good idea of what they want in a new business solution.
This means B2B brands need to focus on providing relevant, informative content to their potential clients. However, the experience has to be personalized or you won’t be successful in this endeavor. Buyer personas can serve as a guideline to understand your customers’ basic wants and needs. What are they looking for in a business product
How to make buyer personas
To define accurate customer segments, you need to involve key employees. Salespeople are the employees responsible for the majority of one-on-one interactions with prospects, so they may prove to be a valuable source of information about buyer perceptions. Creating an outline of your ideal customers requires a degree of collaboration between sales and marketing, since marketers will ultimately be the ones producing content for these clients.
Writing for Business 2 Community, Ben Pages suggested companies ask themselves a number of questions to get a better sense of their product or service offerings, buyers’ firms and individual customer motivations. To gain a thorough understanding of your own business, you need to ask who your competitors are, what differentiates you from them and what customers notice about your brand. To take the best approach to selling possible, your sales team needs to know what type of business typically buys from you and what problems your offering can fix for customers.
Understanding individual customers may be slightly more challenging because every firm is different, and this could mean an entirely separate group of stakeholders. For example, some businesses may involve end users in the decision-making process. These employees will have far different concerns than executives. Workers will be worried about the usability of your platform, and top decision-makers are often more concerned with cost. Knowing customers’ titles is only the most basic approach to generating personas. To create more relevant content marketing efforts, you need to understand who buyers report to, what their day-to-day responsibilities are and their concerns.
You may have a wealth of data in your customer relationship management platform than can answer some of these questions. Having access to this information about buyers can help your sales team be more effective because they can cater their presentation and pitches to individual prospects. An online marketing system allows you to better manage customer data and generate more relevant communications.
What to avoid when making buyer personas
Access to data about customers is critical for defining accurate buyer personas. However, there are some crucial errors companies can making when identifying their customer segments, Nate Dame wrote for Marketing Land. When there is a lack of alignment between sales and marketing teams, persona-driven marketing won’t be successful. The article advised companies to avoid creating buyer personas in a silo. You need to extend personas across your entire organization – they may even prove to be influential for your product development department because this understanding of customer preferences can help you make improvements to your solution.
It’s important to test personas. Like any other marketing effort, you can’t set them and forget them.